8.30 - 12.30, WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY 2003

Over 200 UK companies have accepted ProShare’s invitation to attend a meeting to discuss the International Accounting Standards Board’s proposals on share-based payments to be held in London on 15 January 2003. You are invited to attend or send a representative.

On 7 November the International Accounting Standards Board published an exposure draft (ED2) setting out its proposals for a new International Financial Reporting Standard on share-based payments. This would result in companies having to make a charge in their income statement when providing shares or options to their employees. On the same day the UK’s Accounting Standards Board published its own exposure draft (FRED31), which largely replicates ED2. Respondents have 120 days to comment on both.

These proposals are highly controversial, particularly in the current post-Enron climate. While some companies have announced their intention to account for their share options, ProShare’s own survey shows that over two-thirds of UK companies are against these proposals. As an organisation that promotes employee share ownership, ProShare favours full disclosure in the notes to the accounts rather than expensing on the grounds that expensing will not provide users of accounts with reliable information and will discourage the use of broad-based employee share plans.

Whatever the outcome, ProShare believes that the IASB proposals have far-reaching implications and it is important that the decision-makers hear the views of companies and organisations that support employee share ownership. As part of that process, ProShare has asked a number of key players to participate in its forum including:

Robert Garnett, IASB Board Member
Kimberley Crook, IASB Project Manager
Mary Keegan, Chairman, UK Accounting Standards Board
Paul Rutteman, Secretary General, EFRAG

Leading UK MPs and MEPs have been invited to attend and John Monks from the TUC is expected to give the opening speech. A copy of the programme is attached.

In addition to the discussion, a breakfast workshop will explain how these proposals would apply in relation to the UK’s most popular employee share plans.

For further information or to confirm your attendance, please contact Rhona Gardiner or Claire Davidson on 020 7976 5555

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